Arbroath’s History - Resources For Researchers
There are many resources available for the study of Arbroath's past. Some are held in Arbroath Library while many others are housed in the Angus Archives. There are also many sources available in the National Archives of Scotland, such as Kirk Session records.
Arbroath Library holds a good range of genealogical sources such as Old Parish Registers and the census (1841-1901) on microfilm plus the International Genealogical Index on microfiche. The Archives holds most of these also.
The town of Arbroath encompasses 2 parishes: Arbroath and St Vigeans (which is also the name of a neighbouring village and the source of much confusion). You may need to search in both if you do not have a specific location.
Arbroath Herald is available on microfilm in Arbroath Library from 1838 onwards. A card index is available too and relates to indexed material from 1889-1985. Some earlier Arbroath information is contained within the Montrose Review, available from 1811, and can be used in Montrose Library on microfilm.
Newspapers are an invaluable source of local history - why?
Arbroath Library holds a collection of Arbroath area maps, mainly Ordnance Survey. Angus Archives holds some Ordnance Survey maps and some local estate plans.
Arbroath Town Council records
Arbroath has a large collection of Town Council records, dating from 1727 to 1975. These records include Town council minutes, police commissioner records, licensing, housing, charities, legal documents, honourary burgesses, Arbroath Harbour Board and early modern burgh court books. A complete list [PDF 137K] is available.
Angus County Council records
County Council records are largely organised by parish, so to get a complete picture of Arbroath, you need to consider searches in both Arbroath and St Vigeans parishes, or know in advance in which parish an ancestor lived.
School records, mainly log books, have survived for both parishes.
Please check with Angus Archives staff in advance as school records have a 50 year closure period. Any items that are available to researchers MUST be ordered in advance to avoid disappointment.
Poor relief records are subject to closure periods of 75 years. Items out with a closure period must be ordered in advance.
Burial records are available from www.deceasedonline.com
In addition, the Arbroath Old parish Register of burials has survived and its extensive and comprehensive records have been indexed. A copy of this index is available in Angus Archives.
Arbroath Library and Angus Archives holds the Pre-1855 Gravestones of Angus publication
Angus Archives Miscellaneous Collection (MS)
There are many Arbroath items in the Miscellaneous collection. These include:
- Arbroath Co-operative Society, 1693-1938, MS 60
- Arbroath Ladies Clothing Society, 1840-11927, MS 62
- Arbroath Literary Club, 1872-1923, MS 64
- Correspondence of David Clarke, Royal Navy, 1795-1799, MS 65
- Papers of William Dorward, mariner in Arbroath, 1803-1871, MS 72
- Arbroath District Nursing Association, 1891-1957, MS 83
- Independent Labour Party, Arbroath branch, 1908-1939, MS 88
- Arbroath Scientific and Natural History Association, 1891-1934, MS 91
- Arbroath Horticultural and Natural History Society, 1883-1935, MS 92
- Arbroath Glovers Friendly Society, 1802-1834, MS 94
- Correspondence of Patrick Chalmers, Dundee, to James Chalmers, Arbroath, 1844-1846, MS 95
- Arbroath Lawn Tennis Club, 1909, MS 165
- Arbroath Civic Society, 1971-1990, MS 301
- Arbroath Golf Club, 1877-1975, MS 332
- British Women's Temperance Association, 1914-1936, MS 401
- Arbroath Subscription Library, 1797-1896, MS 451
- Royal National Lifeboat Institute, Arbroath branch, 1854-1983, MS 519
- Arbroath Harbour Board, 1861-1975, MS 536 (See also Town council records)
- Arbroath Tailor's Incorporation, 1658- 1845, MS 606
- St Vigeans Parish examination roll, 1752, MS 608
- Arbroath Weaver's Incorporation, MS 648
- Professor David Dall, Royal Phrenologist, 1920, MS 689
- Charles Myles Young collection, MS 691
- Arbroath Comfort Committee, 1939-1945, MS 708
- Arbroath United Cricket Club, MS 756
Other Arbroath resources available in Angus Archives
|18:352||Arbroath Court Book, 1565-1575 - surname index|
|18:352||Arbroath Court Book, 1618-1704 - surname index|
|18:352||Register of Qualified Voters, 1832-1857 -surname index|
|18:352.1||Index to Arbroath Town Council Town Clerk's files|
|18:641.873||Officers of the Arbroath Brewer's Fraternity, 1805 - 1861|
|18:929.2||John Colville's Protocol Book Index, 1775-1783 and the list of Persons in the Burgh of Arbroath, from Montrose Burgh Court Records, 1707 - 1826 bound as one volume|
|18:929.3||Index to Arbroath and St. Vigeans Burial Registers, 1825 - 1854|
|18:929.3||Examination roll of Arbroath, 1752 edited by Flora Davidson|
|18:929.5||Arbroath Abbey: Pre 1855 gravestones and allied descriptions as listed by Sydney Cramer|
|18:941||Arbroath: Royal Burgh of Romance - surname index|
|18:941||Arbroath Traders Index - surname index of merchants and shop keepers, often listing their business address, 1839-1843|
|Card Index||Arbroath Weavers Incorporation surname index- ongoing (Progress at August 2004 = three quarters completed)|
Arbroath Photograph Collection
The Archives holds nearly 2,000 images of the town and its people from the late 19th century to more recently. The collection also includes antiquarian prints from the 18th century. Photographic images include street views, industry, Provosts, historic buildings, the seafront and local characters. An index to the Arbroath Photographic Collection is available. It can be used in conjunction with the Image Index which indexes photographs of people contained within local history books.
New additions to the photographic collection are always welcome. Reproductions of copyright free photographs are available. Please request a price list.
Arbroath Research Files
The Archives has a growing collection of files on many aspects of Arbroath including industry, commerce, personalities, historic buildings, recreation and many other topics.
Other items of interest
- Various Arbroath estate plans in the Wilkie and Dundas Collection in MS 720
- Copy chartulary of the lands of Newgate 1826 -1866
The Archives team is happy to answer any queries relating to Arbroath sources.
© Angus Council 1998 - 2012